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What I really did in Chiang Mai

What I really did in Chiang Mai

Lest you think that my travel life is one continuous stream of swim and surf, I’d like to share the week I spent in Chiang Mai in which I did nothing but write, eat and hang out with other bloggers.

Chiang Mai moat at sunset, Thailand

It was a recharging week that I desperately needed: three months on the road was beginning to take its toll, and I was losing motivation quickly. So even though I spent a week in Chiang Mai, I didn’t do a lot: I didn’t pet a tiger or ride an elephant (mostly because I really hate when the lives of wild animals are so out of whack with nature), or ride a motorbike, or take a trip down the river.

Herbal tea in Chiang Mai, Thailand

I drank herbal tea every morning. The blend of chrysanthemum, asiatic pennywort and roselle promised to “relieve cold, waist and back pain, headache and quenching thirst, also increases appetite.” It set me back 15 cents per cup and tasted delicious: killer start to the morning.

Dentist assistant at Dental World, Chiang Mai, Thailand

I went to the dentist: I’m American, which means that I’m obsessive about my teeth and thus really excited to get a cleaning at Dental World. When I got there, the oh-so-fashionable dental hygienist asked if I got nervous about getting my teeth cleaned. Nope, no worries here, mate–like to keep these pearly whites healthy! She then proceeded to put a big black sheet over my face with a cutout for my mouth, and I immediately started thinking about how this is what they do to people when they’re about to hang them. Cue anxiety. But I survived, and paid a grand old $35 for ultra-clean teeth.

Man fixing watch in Chiang Mai, Thailand

I got my watch fixed: Tailors, key copiers, watch repairmen: they just pop up on the side of the street in Chiang Mai and go about fixing your life right up. Not that I ever had anywhere I actually needed to be at a certain time, and the sparkly gold watch is more ornamental than useful–but still! Talk about convenience.

Girl in longneck village, Chiang Mai province, Thailand

I went to a longneck village. And subsequently felt really guilty. It was one of those weird life-on-display set-ups for tourist with considerable pressure to buy. But the experience also included my first tuk-tuk ride, an escape from the city chaos and a chance to talk about the world’s most extreme workout and speed-eat bananas with the travel blogosphere’s hottest man.

New silver bracelet from Chiang Mai, Thailand

I bought a new bracelet. My mom kept bugging me about investing in some silver jewelry while I was in Thailand, so I finally–I know, huge sacrifice–bought this pretty little piece to appease her.

Wat in Chiang Mai, Thailand at sunset

I went to a temple. Actually, I went to a lot of temples and looked at a lot of Buddhas. I ooh-ed and aah-ed over the pretty architecture. I wondered about what monks think about. Good fun.

Whitney Houston Greatest Hits CD from Chiang Mai Night Market, Thailand

I ate my way through Sunday Night Market. And I bought a CD of Whitney Houston’s greatest hits for $3, and proceeded to mourn while listening to “How Will I Know” on repeat for five straight days.

And I ate. A lot. More about that (with photos!) to come.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Chiang Mai? Aka what did I miss? 

  • Caroline @ Traveling 9 to 5

    We are heading to Chiang Mai next week – I think you’ve inspired us to get our teeth cleaned (Also Crazy Americans = need clean teeth)

  • LostInCheeseland

    Ha! Great post – but let me ask you, what made you go for a teeth cleaning while traveling? It couldn’t wait until California? Or rather the question is – you weren’t nervous about it? Hell, I was nervous the first time I went to the dentist in France because they don’t tell you the same things they do in the US and they NEVER encourage you to floss =) 

  • What a fabulous trip!!!!!!! I love that you were brave enough to see the dentist abroad. And your bracelet is GORGEOUS.

  • CaptainandClark

    You can never go wrong with eating your way through Chiang Mai.  While it’s great to get out and explore, after months on the road, it’s equally as amazing to sit back and relax.  

  • Never…EVER….under any circumstances, make eye contact while eating a banana!! 😛

  • Chiang Mai is a great place to just wander – if you want to be busy and active it’s there, but if you want to just relax and BE you can do that too!  Glad to hear you enjoyed the town and that your dentist experience was a success – I live there and need to be getting my teeth cleaned soon…

  • I did very much the same when I was there! Can’t wait to go back!

  • camorose

    Haha yes! Do it–Dental World was fabulous, just make sure you schedule an appointment as soon as you get there, they book up pretty fast 🙂

  • camorose

    I’m not sure if my dental insurance will still cover me at home–so wanted to make sure to at least squeeze in one cleaning this year just in case! And I had heard great things from a friend about this particular dental operation, so figure it couldn’t hurt–and seriously, it was $30! For the same price as a pedi at home–thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get my teeth checked out 🙂 And finally–cultural experience! Totally worth it just for that!

  • camorose

    Haha I actually really like going to the dentist–probably because I’m super prone to cavities so I feel like I need to go all the time just to make sure I don’t have any new ones. And how fab is that bracelet? I love it!

  • camorose

    Agreed–when you’re traveling long-term, sometimes you just need a break somewhere.

  • camorose

    As long as you eat it as fast as I do…not even a concern!

  • camorose

    Head to Dental World! Had a great experience!

  • camorose

    Haha yes–I need to get back, but I think I’ll actually have to check out some of the attractions this time around 🙂

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  • Wow, that is one inexpensive teeth cleaning! 🙂 I’ll have to put that on my to dos next time I’m in the area. I’m usually most focused on eating.

  • camorose

    Haha I pretty much ate all day, broke for the teeth cleaning, and went back to eating 🙂

  • You didn’t eat insects? Girl, are you sure you were in Chiang Mai? 

  • camorose

    I don’t know if I ever got the chance! Definitely would have tried them if I saw them…or else I tried them without knowing 🙂

  • Annie L.

    my goodness, that’s dirt cheap!
    although I think there are some dentists here with that low price provided that you have dental insurance. I’m not sure without though, it’s always been around $100 for me when I call 877-639-0820 for a dentist!